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The Need for Civic Education: A Collective Action Perspective

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Ostrom, Elinor
Date: 1998
Agency: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Series: Workshop Working Paper W98-26
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7733
Sector: Social Organization
Region: North America
Subject(s): collective action--theory
Abstract: "Why should we teach the theory of collective action as a critical element in courses on American government and political science more generally? My answer to this question is that the theory of collective action is a core explanatory theory related to almost every 'political problem' addressed by citizens, elected officials, political action groups, courts, legislatures, and families. At any time that individuals may gain from the costly actions of others, without themselves contributing time and effort, they face collective action dilemmas for which there are coping methods."

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